Jemele Hill Named NABJ Journalist of the Year

Jemele Hill (Credit: ESPN)

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) has named ESPN senior correspondent Jemele Hill its 2018 Journalist of the Year.

In a statement Monday, NABJ said it chose Hill because she “uses her platform to address national, social and cultural issues, in addition to sports.”

Hill responded by saying she was humbled by the honor.

“This is the biggest accomplishment of my career.” she said in NABJ’s press release. “I am humbled to be honored by an organization whose values not only match my own journalistically, but has tirelessly dedicated itself to developing and nurturing journalists like me.”

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Hill joined ESPN in 2006 as a columnist, and over the years has appeared on several of the sports network’s programs including The Sports Reporters, Around the Horn, Outside the Lines and SportsCenter with Michael Smith.

She left her role as co-anchor of SportsCenter in January after making national headlines for calling President Donald Trump a “white supremacist” on Twitter.

Shortly after she posted a series of tweets criticizing Trump in September, the White House called for her firing.

Several athletes offered Hill their support, including former NFL player Colin Kaepernick who tweeted: “We are with you @jemelehill.”

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Hill later apologized for how her tweets reflected on ESPN.

“My comments on Twitter expressed my personal beliefs,” she tweeted on Sept. 13, 2017. “My regret is that my comments and the public way I made them painted ESPN in an unfair light. My respect for the company and my colleagues remains unconditional.”

ESPN suspended Hill for two weeks in October over “a second violation” of its social media guidelines, after she took to Twitter to call for an advertiser boycott of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who said he would bench players who “disrespect the flag.”

After leaving SportsCenter, Hill’s current position is as senior correspondent and columnist for ESPN’s The Undefeated, the network’s online vertical focused on race, sports, and culture.

Before joining ESPN, Hill worked at the Detroit Free Press and the Orlando Sentinel.

The Detroit native will be honored by NABJ in her hometown on Aug. 4, during the organization’s national convention.